Why is it important to beat a sore throat?
You’re fine one minute, then the next you start to get that ominous itchy, scratchy, sore feeling at the back of your throat! You know the warning signs (your body’s fighting an infection), but do you know how to take action?
Sore throats are often the first indication of a cold or flu. The back of the throat acts as one of your first lines of defence against bugs, so it easily becomes a battlefield.
As your body also tries to flush out the virus by increasing mucus production, your nose may either run or become blocked.
The body’s temperature rises as the immune system tries to ensure that the virus doesn’t replicate – viruses prefer cold conditions in which to breed, so the body heats up to burn them out.
Then, if the virus really gets a grip on the throat, a cough and other cold or flu symptoms may occur.
A slippery slope
The back of the throat houses bundles of lymphatic tissue called lymph nodes where white blood cells (the foot soldiers of the immune system) mass to attack viral or bacterial invaders. When fighting off an attack by these pathogens the activity of the white blood cells makes the lymph nodes swell, creating what is we experience as swollen glands that will probably be hot and uncomfortable – a battlefield is not a comfortable place!
Tip #1: Tackle it throat first!
If your sore throat disappears without resulting in a nasty cold or flu, then your body’s immune defences have done their job and won the war. However, if that bug just won’t be defeated then your body will need a helping hand.
Viral infections associated with colds or flu are the most common cause of the trouble, accounting for at least 65% of all sore throats. Antibiotics are not an option when suffering from this type of infection, as they are only effective against bacteria.
Sage has a long history of use for sore throat due to its astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial qualities, and can be usefully combined with the immune boosting & antiviral action of Echinacea. Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray is a herbal spray which contains extracts of both of these herbs to fight the viral infection, soothe your sore throat and work to help to stop a full blown cold developing.
The spray function allows these herbs to be directed straight onto the lymphatic tissue at the back of the throat, absorbing into the tissues more easily and helping to fight the virus and reduce inflammation faster.
8 more ways to soothe your sore throat
As well as herbal sprays, there are many other natural ways, as well as home remedies to help soothe your sore throat and assist in reducing inflammation and your discomfort:
1. Gargle Salt Water
Gargling warm salt water is probably the oldest remedy for sore throats. Salt has natural antibacterial properties and works by reducing inflammation and drawing bacteria from the infected tissue lining your throat. It is also an easy remedy to put together when you have nothing else to hand.
2. Add some Honey
Honey mixed in herb tea or a little hot water or juice or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat, helping to coat your dry, irritated throat.
3. Keep hydrated
Although it may be uncomfortable because of the soreness, drinking plenty of liquids to keep yourself hydrated is important as it helps to keep your irritated throat moist. When your throat is sore sore, lukewarm water is better than cold water, which can hurt more than it helps.
4. Have a hot drink
A warming drink such as a cup of Chamomile tea or Echinaforce® Hot Drink can offer immediate, soothing relief. Hot drinks are also favoured by many for their simple therapeutic effects, helping to bring comfort and relief from cold & flu symptoms such as sore throats, aches & pains and shivers.
5. Chicken soup
This is not only comforting, but will give you the nutrients you need when swallowing hard food is too painful. It is also thought that the sodium in the soup has anti-inflammatory properties which will help ease your sore throat
6. Have a sweetie
Sucking on lozenges and hard boiled sweets can help soothe a sore throat by keeping your mouth moist and therefore more comfortable.
7. Boost your immune system
Keeping your immune system in top condition will help fight off viral infections and speed up recovery. Echinacea can be taken as a quick short-term measure to boost your immune system or as a longer-term support to strengthen your immune function.
8. Rest up
This is an obvious one but still very important. If you don’t want that sore throat to progress to a full-blown cold or flu, you need to take time to rest and get a good night’s sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep lowers your immune function, so it can weaken your ability to fight off infections.